Rider John knows just how vital the air ambulance is after a fall

John Denny is treated after his fall
John Denny is treated after his fall

One rider taking part, who knows better than most how vital the service is is John Denny.

The local mountain biker, fell badly while riding in the hills in September last year.

John said, “If it wasn’t for my mates’ quick thinking, mountain rescue and Air Ambulance, I think I’d still be on that mountain. I never thought I’d crash that badly, none of us do, but when it happens, we realise the value of these volunteers who so expertly patch us up before flying us to the nearest trauma unit.

“We are so lucky to have these services but they need funding, so that when the worst happens, they’re there. Unfortunately, I never got to thank the crew but I’m back riding now and hopefully by raising money in the Borderland, it will be a small thank you.”

Midlands Air Ambulance operate three Air Ambulance Helicopters and two critical care cars serving the communities of six Midlands counties including Shropshire.

It makes it the largest air ambulance operating region of the UK.

Since 1991, the charity has responded to more than 66,000 missions at a cost ofmore than £10 million a year.

Anyone who wants to donate to the charity, via the event can do so online through borderland-mtbchallenge.org.

The ride itself, organised by Borderlands Rotary Club, has been sponsored by Dairi-Pak Ltd since its inception in 1994.

Brian Gray the former owner of Dairi-Pak, a keen cyclist and a Rotarian helped formulate the challenge from humble beginnings to a major fixture on the mountain bike calendar.

Mr Gray passed away in 2012 and his son Tim Gray, who now runs the company, decided to continue with his support and sponsorship.

He said: “During successive lockdowns I had plenty of time to reflect and decided it would be great to relaunch the challenge as a bigger and better event for riders, sponsors and recipients of the money raised.”

“It became clear that if we wanted a better event involving other ‘community spirited’ local companies would extend our reach and secure the future of the Borderland Mountain Bike Challenge for many years to come. I would like to thank AICO and Mule Cycles for joining Dairi-Pak in sponsoring the ride, their enthusiasm and professionalism has been invaluable in preparing for this year’s event.”

This year also sees the inclusion of e-mountain bike riders.

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